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Selim Turan, Mobile (Acrobats), 1975–80, Japanese paper, wire, string, cloth, aluminum foil, acrylic paint, lead, beeswax, thumbtack, silver paper, papiermâché, approx. 26 × 7 1/4 × 7 1/4".

Selim Turan

Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Sabancı University

Selim Turan, Mobile (Acrobats), 1975–80, Japanese paper, wire, string, cloth, aluminum foil, acrylic paint, lead, beeswax, thumbtack, silver paper, papiermâché, approx. 26 × 7 1/4 × 7 1/4".

Selim Turan: Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis,” curated by art historian Necmi Sönmez, featured more than one hundred works, mostly selected from the trove of more than 250 donated to Istanbul University in 2003 by Selim Turan’s wife, ceramic artist Şahika Turan. (Those pieces are on loan to Sakıp Sabancı Museum while the historic university building undergoes restoration.) The exhibition also included single works by Turkish and foreign artists in Turan’s circle (İlhan Koman, Fahrelnissa Zeid—who has a solo show at Tate Modern in London—Jacques Germain, and Francis Bott, among others). This effort to contextualize Turan’s career will hopefully help pave the way for further research into the lives and works of Turkish artists who lived abroad between the end of the 1940s and the late ’70s.

Turan was born in Istanbul in 1915 and raised in an intellectual environment both at

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